Lee Ballard Photography

A photo journal

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Published work

Now I’m back into the swing on this blog I’ll be putting some of my published work on the site. First off is a feature I undertook for Land Rover World where I had a close look at two Tomcats. I’ll add some more images later but you can find the feature here.

February 2013

February 2013

 

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Going up

For something different I thought I’d share a couple of images taken at a Porsche club day for a client of mine at Blyton Park racetrack in Lincolnshire. Both taken from 50ft up in my cherry picker!

Blyton Park from a cherry picker

Blyton Park from a cherry picker

Blyton Park at 50ft

Blyton Park at 50ft

 

 

 

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Updating the sliders

As part of my mission to raise my online presence and update my sites I am updating some of the pages on this site which the “sliders” above link to. Today I have put a temporary update onto the Gallery page that you can find here.

And as this is a photographic website I always like to try and add a photo and so here is one of my youngest child on a ride I have dubbed the “noeffingchanceinhellamIgoingonthatthing” for shorthand!

He's braver than me!!!

He’s braver than me!!!

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Moving forward

Well as usual, it’s been a while since my last post. I have no excuse though recent family loss has led me to think I need to pull my finger out with blogging and keeping my websites up to date. All three, this one, my main site and my cherry picker’s site will be update far more often.

This one will feature product reviews as well as copies of articles I write after publication, along with photos that may have not been published. I’ll also endeavour to write “teasers” to articles just before they go to print so you can keep your eyes peeled for a particular publication.

As always, you can also follow me on Twitter @leebphotography or on Facebook.

In the meantime, here is a teaser from my first trip to the beautiful country that is Iceland.

Glacier lake in Iceland

Glacier lake in Iceland

 

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Slightly deviated

Once upon a time in a land far far……….you get the idea. I was a drummer in a band and we were doing quite well. Things however fall apart, people move on and time passes and then one day, you’re in your late thirties and you realise how much you miss drumming. It’s Dave’s fault. Well, partially it is but I’ll blame him entirely for now.

It's Dave's fault

Dave is an old friend of mine. He runs a successful drum, guitar and bass tuition studio near Tunbridge Well called One8e and he’s also in a few bands, The Mighty Worm, 4th Wall and the seminal punk band, The Anti Nowhere League. On a recent trip to Kent I spent an afternoon and evening with Dave catching up, having a nice pub lunch and for the first time in over a decade, having a play on a drum kit. It was awesome and I didn’t suck anywhere near as much as I thought I would with the lack of practice. Then in the evening I went to the last venue I played to watch Dave and 4th Wall perform, the Tunbridge Wells Forum along with All the Above. Obviously I took photos whilst there too, after all it would be rude not to. The full album can be seen here or here.

4th Wall

Next, more recently I spent the evening in Sleaford cricket club photographing Bear Makes Ninja (awesome name if ever there was one) and Kill the Ideal oh, and a bloke named Dan. The album for that can be seen here and here.

All of the bands I have photographed recently have gone a long way to remind me what fabulous local bands there are around. In this age dominated by the drivel put out by X-Factor and it’s like, it’s nice to know that people are still getting together and making fantastic original music and are a joy to see.

So if you’re Saturday evening plan is to sit in and watch the latest pseudo talent show on the box, why not pop to a local pub and see a live band and have a great evening instead. You’ll thank me for it.

 

Bear Makes Ninja

Kill The Ideal

 

Anyway, unusual for me on this blog, I decided to post a few videos by bands I have shot recently or know members of, including Zipperface which my dear old friend Richmond batters the skins for and the video includes cake so it’s worth it for that.




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Exposing a repair

I had the pleasure last week of spending two days with Andrew and Emma Walsh and their amazing team at the new, hi-tech premises of AW Repair Group in Sleaford.

Lincolnshire's only Porsche approved repair centre

Approved by vehicle insurers and manufacturers they are now one of only 32 Porsche approved repair centres in the UK, being able to offer the high levels of workmanship expected by the manufacturer.

It had been many years since I’d set foot in a bodyshop and AW is far more than just a bodyshop. It’s a state of the art facitily. From they days past when a car would be baked for hours after painting, paint can now be dried in just 8 minutes using the latest in drying equipment.

Paint drying in action

This technology, saving not only time but also huge amounts of energy, means the repair can be lower cost and more environmentally friendly than the long bake methods.

Then there is panel repair. Until recently, many repairs would involve a costly new panel but not with the company’s Flatliner equipment. A number of ‘eyelets’ are tack welded to a damaged panel (being already taken back to bare metal) then a rod is inserted through then eyes and with the aid of other equipment, a panel can be pulled straight. Obviously it makes sense when you see it and it’s a bit more involved but it’s a great device and again, cost and waste saving.

Flatliner demonstration

 

How about plastic bumpers? Surely once cracked, no respectable repair is possible? Wrong, with modern techniques even split and fractured bumpers can be repaired. And even scratched plastic headlights can be made pure and clear again.

 

All in all it’s pretty impressive what can be achieved with the right know-how and equipment and the service offered by AW is probably the best you’re find anywhere and I’m proud to have worked with them.

In a move to widen the range of services they offer, AW now also offer vhicle servicing and tyres along with air conditioning maintenance and same-day repairs. Yes, SAME DAY.

I urge you to have a look at their new website and bear them in mind should you need anything from a shopping trolley dent to a trip through a hedge repaired (the car, not the hedge).

 

On a lighter side on things, I did also get up close and personal with Herbie, KITT and a 1960’s Batmobile, so a few childhood dream fulfilled there!

Childhood dream cars

 

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Seals and the old green eyed monster

One of the things that, for some years now, I have been meaning to do since living in Lincolnshire, was to visit Donna Nook on the coast in winter. Now Donna Nook is not a resort of any description, in fact the RAF spend a lot of time bombing it as it’s a NATO bombing range and it’s formerly been a prisoner of war camp, so it’s hardly the destination of choice for a fun day out. Or is it.

Donna Nook is also a nature reserve with a wonderful claim to fame. Firstly, it was the first national nature reserve on Ministry of Defence land and secondly, it is home to one of the UK’s largest Grey Seal colonies. For the most part of the year the seals are out at sea or on distant sand banks but in November/December they move onto the dunes on the mainland to have their pups. Between them they have up to 1300 pups each year and the spectacle of the seals and their pups lounging on the beach is a sight to behold.

Thanks to the wonderful work of the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust and it’s volunteers, the viewing of the seals is managed by wardens and the public have a rare chance to get within a few feet of the seals with only a fence to separate them.  This gives a wonderful chance for photographers and children to get close to seeing these beautiful animals.

This brings me to my main point. I took my boys there a couple of weeks ago. We had a wonderful time, they each gained a soft toy seal from the shop on the beach and I gained a few photographs of the seals. This however led to the green eyed monster. You see there were a number of photographers on the beach with large equipment. Well, large lenses at least. I spotted one photographer with an £11,000 Canon lens and another searching through the SELECTION of large lenses in his car’s boot, deciding which one to use. Whilst I will be the first to say that equipment doesn’t maketh the photographer, in some cases, it does help a lot.

For my next trip there, I will hire a large, fast lens if I haven’t won the lottery and been able to buy one myself.

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Twitter

Well after having a Twitter account for some time now, I finally succumbed to actually starting to use Twitter properly this week. By that, I mean telling people I have an account and actually starting to personalise it a bit more. To this end I spent half an hour earlier today creating a background of my own using some of my own images. Now the only problem is the various different monitor dimensions that people use, not to mention the different resolution settings. The monitor on my desktop is set at 1680 x 1050 and my laptop at 1440 x 900 so I based the design on a width of 1280p obviously. Actually I adjusted it until it looked okay on both my pc’s. Have a look yourself and follow if you desire, I’ll happily return the favour.

You can see my page properly here or the screen shot below.

Twitter screen shot

My background design on Twitter

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A very Merry Christmas to all

I would just like to wish everyone all the very best seasons greetings and I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas. There are still Team Chaos Macmillan charity Mud and Maiden calendars available so please buy one if you haven’t already. Available here.

Anwich Photography Christmas

Merry Christmas

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Introducing the page sliders

I thought I would take a moment to introduce you to the images in the page sliders at the top of this website. Firstly, the sliders are part of the ‘sliding door’ wordpress theme created by Wayne Connor so all due credit to him.

Now my slider images……..

1. Sarah-Jane Blackner

Sarah-Jane is a very talented,  stunning model that I have worked with a couple of times. The image used in the slider is actually the reverse of the original as otherwise, only her legs, lovely as they are, would show when the slider was closed. This was taken during her progress from black hair through to platinum blonde and shot in Nottingham.

Sarah-Jane Blackner

Sarah-Jane, the right way round

2. Woolvestone Marina

This image was taken in August 2010 during a sailing trip which had us spend two nights just outside Ipswich in Woolvestone Marina, located on the River Orwell. The image was a tripod mounted long exposure, with a time of 30 seconds. I couldn’t use a longer exposure having left the camera’s remote shutter release at home.

Woolvestone Marina on the River Orwell

30 seconds of the River Orwell

3. Little Red Riding Psychopath

This was a shoot for which I suffered. The lovely Gypsy Rhodes and I shot this in a wood within Whisby Nature Park just outside Lincoln. The suffering to which I refer to was in the inordinate number of insect bite which I endured that day. Gypsy, luckily, was not bitten. Not once. Not a nip.

Anyway, the shoot featured a disgruntled Little Red Riding Hood, post killing spree. Images from the shoot as a whole will appear in the gallery soon.

Little Red Psychopath

Gypsy-Only a little psychotic

4. Team Chaos

My connections with the fundraisers known as Team Chaos go back a few years now. I shall dedicate a post to them on the Team Chaos page soon. This shot was taken at 2am at the Land Rover Owner Peterborough show in September 2010. It is my longest exposure to date, being 15 minutes in duration using an ‘big stopper’ filter to lower the exposure time by ten stops. My biggest fear when taking it was that a car with headlights on would drive past. Luckily, none did though the bright light you can see in the right hand side was someone in the distance with a torch. Incidentally, stars begin to ‘trail’ on exposures over 30 seconds as the planet rotates.

Team Chaos' Discovery by night

Watching the universe pass by

5. Stevi-Marie

Zombies galore. Well, maybe not but Stevi was a blood coated zombie during a group shoot back in March with Perfect Storm Models. For those wondering, the ‘blood’ was in fact domestic honey with a lot of food colouring. It was incredibly sticky and staining. Hence I now keep a litre of stage blood in my make up box for any future occasions that demand ‘blood’.

Stevi-Zombie

She's coming for you...

6. Champ de Mars, Paris

This is a dusk view, south-east from the top deck of the Eiffel Tower. The Champ de Mars is a large public ‘greenspace’  between the Eiffel Tower and the Ecole Militaire. I shall wax lyrical about the Tower itself in a future post as it was a very profound visit.

Champ de Mars

Champ de Mars from over 900ft

7. Autsin Healey

This last slider was merely a stunningly, nut and bolt restored, Austin Healey that I saw outside a pub I had just had lunch in. I desaturated the image and added a vignette to give it an aged feel.

Restored beauty

Beautifully restored classic

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